Pizza nights are fun for kids and adults alike, but health concerns can keep pizza off-limits. Fortunately, there are healthy substitutes, like gluten free pizza crust and paleo pizza crust, that can put pizza back on the menu. Instead of getting rid of one of the tastiest and most convenient meal options, you can swap out different ingredients to meet your palette and dietary needs.
What To Eat Instead of Pizza
This is a common question, but what if we told you the solution to “Craving pizza, what to eat instead?” is, well, pizza! Instead of searching for alternatives to pizza night—a highlight for many families, especially busy ones—you can substitute traditional pizza crust for a healthier option.
Can a substitute be just as good as the real thing? Let’s look at the best parts about pizza and see if alternative options can get the job done:
• Great Taste: According to Statista, pizza is among the top dinner choices for American families. It's not hard to imagine why. With endless toppings, delicious sauce, and perfectly-textured crust, hearing "pizza night" is a mouth-watering experience.
• Top-Notch Convenience: Whether ordering take-out or heating up a frozen pizza at home, pizza nights are a welcome break for home chefs. Pizza nights also cut down on dishes! Even starting with a frozen crust and adding your own toppings can be a quick and fun meal.
• Affordable Cost: When it comes to feeding the whole family on a budget, it’s tough to beat the value and taste of pizza.
When substituting your pizza crust for a healthier option, you can still experience pizza's great taste and convenience while staying within budget.
What Is a Healthy Alternative for Pizza?
Healthy alternatives for pizza can include a pizza with a non-traditional crust. Before looking at what healthy pizza options are available, let’s see what health concerns are often associated with pizza:
• High Carbs: Pizza dough, typically made from wheat-based flour, is high in carbohydrates. While carbohydrates have their place, foods with a high concentration of this quick energy source can cause blood sugar spikes followed by crashes. For people looking to cut down on how many carbs they eat, such as people with diabetes, pizza can is off the menu. However, carb free crusts can make pizza a tasty option again.
• High Sodium: Sodium is necessary in small quantities. However, according to the CDC, high sodium diets can lead to high blood pressure, which contributes to higher heart disease and stroke risks. Fortunately, pizza often has high sodium because of its toppings. By swapping out options like pepperoni and sausage for low sodium choices like peppers and broccoli, you can enjoy a far healthier pie.
• Food Sensitivities: An estimated 20 million Americans experience gluten sensitivities ranging from mild to severe symptoms, including digestive issues and fatigue. An additional 30-50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, which can results in nausea and abdominal discomfort. Traditional pizza pies are high in gluten (the crust) and dairy (the cheese). Pizza lovers can enjoy great taste without the negative effects by substituting the crust and cheese in their pies.
Pizza is often a less-than-healthy dinner choice, but it doesn’t have to be. Depending on why you might be hesitant to have a pizza night, alternative ingredients can likely help you feel better while enjoying one of your favorite meals.
What Can I Use Instead of Pizza Crust?
Healthy pizza base alternatives are abundant and range from cauliflower crusts to crusts made from chicken breast. Here are a few of the most common substitutes and what they offer:
• Whole Wheat: Whole wheat crusts can reduce the risk of blood sugar hikes compared to typical flour-based crusts that are highly processed. However, whole wheat crusts are still high in carbs and gluten, so low carb options are better for maintaining stable blood glucose levels.
• Legumes: Chickpea flour is a common gluten free substitute. This option is high in nutrients but also high in carbohydrates.
• Nuts: Almond flour is another widely-used gluten free pizza base. However, this option tends to have a lot of calories and is not helpful for families with nut allergies.
• Vegetables: Vegetable bases, like those made from cauliflower, are a nutritious, low-carb, and gluten free crust substitution. However, not everyone loves how vegetables taste, so it’s important to know your audience before making this substitution for pizza night!
• Chicken: Gluten free, zero-carb, and packed with protein and great flavor…It's pizza crust made from chicken (and olive oil, salt, and spices)! With great taste and lots of nutrients, chicken crust can be a delicious and healthy alternative to flour-based crusts.
With all the different types of pizza crust available, the right substitution for you will come down to personal taste and dietary goals.
How Do You Substitute Pie Crust? With ZeroCarb LYFE’s Zero Carb Pizza Crust!
ZeroCard LYFE makes it easy to substitute your pizza crust for chicken crust with two easy options:
1. Get the crust from us, and then finish the pie with your favorite sauce and toppings. This option is ideal for families looking for the most customizable options and enjoy doing some of the cooking at home.
2. Start with oven-ready frozen pies, and package taste, health, and convenience into one dinner. This option is great for families that want to switch to healthier meals but don't necessarily have the time to make dinner from scratch each night.
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